All is change. It is the only thing that we can be sure of, and yet, we as humans find it so difficult to embrace it in some areas of our lives. Take, for example, those of us here in the yoga community. We have invested in our yoga mat and probably some comfortable clothes, and designated certain times of the week for our asana practice. But, in a physical body that has 206 bones and around 650 muscles, at some point something will get stressed or injured, or maybe we will become disillusioned with the practice because our life as a householder is so demanding. Maintenance of the body/mind vehicle becomes a necessity in order to minimize “down time” and avoid additional complications. Because yoga is a mindful practice, it can be a great mechanism for self-awareness and maintenance.
The latest information from the Labor Force Survey for 2011/12 shows stress, depression or anxiety and musculoskeletal disorders accounted for the majority of days lost due to work-related ill health, 10.4 and 7.5 million days, as reported in the Health and Safety Executive.
Take a look at the following list and see how many points resonate with you or maybe your students:
-repetitive and/or heavy lifting
-bending and twisting
-repeating an action too frequently
-uncomfortable working position
-exerting too much force
-working too long without break
-adverse working environment (ei. hot or cold)
-psychosocial factors (ei. high job demands, time pressures and lack of control)
-not receiving and acting on reports of symptoms quickly enough
In today’s modern world we push ourselves too hard and for too long, but at some point through illness or injury we are all forced to make changes.
Saying it another way:
“People don’t resist change. They resist being changed!”
When change does come, many times, we don’t like it. It interferes with our lives and possibly our hopes, dreams and wishes, or even our teaching schedule. We may have to change our course, and this can actually be a blessing. When change is presented to us, it will cause us to stop and listen, and perhaps do something we never saw ourselves doing.
As our thinking shifts, we may look for other options and open up to new opportunities. When it comes to our yoga practice and teaching, we may even want to consider stepping off of our mats and into a new medium for asana. Have you ever considered; Aqua Kriya Yoga?
Aqua Kriya Yoga still focuses on joint alignment, breathing and promotes the flow of synovial fluid. It has the added benefit of a total body massage along with extra calorie burning, due to the resistance in the water, while at the same time; it is very low impact on joints themselves.
Yoga in the water is a great way to de-stress and heal. However, it can also be a wonderful medium for testing our ‘”fixed” mind and our personal resistance to change.
Ask yourself, do you resist change or do you resist being changed?
As yoga teachers we are here to improve ourselves, the people’s lives around us and the earth we walk upon, and that requires as Patanjali said in his Yoga Sutras, “Constant practice and continual dispassion”.
Because change will come to all of us and we need to be ready to respond and not react. Why not consider letting go of preconceived notions of your practice and teachings, and take your yoga to new depths?
Camella Nair has pioneered a conscious Aqua Yoga teacher training program in California, and been teaching yoga in the water for over a decade. She is the author of Aqua Kriya Yoga book and has creator of the Aqua Kriya Teacher Certification Program and will be in Atlanta, July 27th & 28th, 2013 to lead teacher training. To learn more, visit Aqua Kriya Yoga.